What's next for Peterson after the Vikings replaced him?


The Minnesota Vikings have their running back.

It isn't Adrian Peterson.

That leaves Peterson, about to turn 32 and coming off a 72-yard rushing season, looking for a job elsewhere. The rest of the NFL does not seem to be hurrying to his doorstep.

It has not exactly been an ego-boosting free agency experience for running backs league-wide. Teams moved at a leisurely pace to grab the first few available veteran runners. The Seattle Seahawks landed Eddie Lacy. The Vikings signed Latavius Murray, leading to Thursday's confirmation by General Manager Rick Spielman that Peterson "will move on elsewhere" as a free agent.

The Vikings made Peterson a free agent by declining to pay him $18 million in salary and bonuses for the 2017 season. The going rate this offseason for a veteran running back, based on the Lacy and Murray contracts, is about $5 million per season, perhaps a little bit more.

It is a pass-first league, and aging runners are about as replaceable as it gets. Any team that really wants a dependable running back can look forward to an NFL draft overflowing with talent at the position, led by LSU's Leonard Fournette, Florida State's Dalvin Cook, Stanford's Christian McCaffrey and Tennessee's Alvin Kamara.

For Peterson, it is time to keep his expectations in check and find a job.

It's highly unlikely that there will be a handsome contract out there for him. He might have to settle for a relatively modest base salary and a package of incentives that would reward him if he demonstrates that he still can be a dominant player.

There might not even be a promised starting job available, depending on where he goes.

The Oakland Raiders need a running back after losing Murray. That could be a very good situation for Peterson with a winning team, a highly capable offensive line and an excellent passing game led by quarterback Derek Carr to keep opposing defenses from focusing on him.

There have been whispers about Peterson and the New England Patriots. That's a pairing that clearly would give Peterson a chance at a Super Bowl title.

Other teams linked to Peterson have included the New York Giants, Houston Texans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Any would make sense and would put Peterson into a potentially productive, winning situation.

But the time for Peterson to expect to be treated like a superstar on the open market is gone. It's time for him to find his best deal, with the best circumstances, and take it.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Former North Carolina QB starting for Texans on Sunday
Former North Carolina QB starting for Texans on Sunday

Now in his third stint with the Houston Texans since being taken by the organization in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, former North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates has received official word from coach Bill O’Brien that he will start against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Yates, who became the first UNC quarterback...
Report: SMU interim coach Jeff Traylor to take job under Chad Morris at Arkansas
Report: SMU interim coach Jeff Traylor to take job under Chad Morris at Arkansas

Chad Morris has reportedly added an assistant to his new staff at Arkansas. According to Adam Grosbard of The Dallas Morning News, SMU interim coach Jeff Traylor will be leaving to take a position on Morris’ staff with the Razorbacks. This report comes just hours after USA Today’s Dan Wolken reported that Traylor had &ldquo...
Patriots dodge bullet with Alan Branch against Dolphins
Patriots dodge bullet with Alan Branch against Dolphins

New England Patriots defensive tackle Alan Branch doesn’t play an overwhelming number of defensive snaps at age-32, but the snaps he does play are often critical and that’s what would make losing him on Monday night against the Miami Dolphins tough to swallow. Branch had to leave the game in the first period against...
Two SBNation experts pick Oklahoma to win national title
Two SBNation experts pick Oklahoma to win national title

The College Football Playoff is still nearly a month away, but that doesn’t mean experts can’t start prognosticating on who will take home the national championship. Over at SBNation, a team of 10 experts picked their winners in the two semifinal games and the national title game. Six people — Alex Kirshner, ...
South Carolina recruiting: Gamecocks land third 2019 commitment
South Carolina recruiting: Gamecocks land third 2019 commitment

On Monday night, the 2019 South Carolina recruiting class landed a commitment from Myers Park High School (Charlotte, N.C.) offensive tackle Jaylen Nichols. The post South Carolina recruiting: Gamecocks land third 2019 commitment appeared first on SEC Country.
More Stories